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Hyderabad: With Eid-ul-Adha festival round the corner, the demand for rams, sheep and goats in the city has escalated. Around 2 lakh sheep are sold in the city during the three-day festival to be celebrated from Sunday.

The festival popularly known as Bakrid is celebrated on the 10th day of the Islamic calendar month of Dhul Hijja, also the last month of the calendar. In India, the festival will be celebrated on July 10 onwards.

On the occasion, Muslims sacrifice sheep or cattle as a practice and divide the meat into three equal parts. While one part is distributed among friends, acquaintances and relatives, the other part is for the poor and the destitute and the remaining one they keep for themselves. In Hyderabad, sheep traders from different districts of Telangana and adjoining Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka sell the livestock.

“A sheep yielding around 12 kg of meat is sold for Rs 10,000 in the market. Usually people purchase a sheep weighing between 11 kg and 14 kg for Qurbani,” said Tajuddin Ahmed, a commission agent at Jiyaguda sheep market.

A few families purchase big rams priced between Rs 20,000 and Rs 50,000 each. “The livestock is specially reared by the owners for at least two years and fed a special diet that includes dry fruits. Wealthy people purchase it treating it as a symbol of social status but it has nothing to do with the religious practice,” said another trader.

Several temporary markets are set up Chanchalguda, Nanal Nagar, Mehdipatnam, Falaknuma, Khilwat, Chandrayangutta, Shaheennagar, Kishanbagh, Azampura, Musheerabad, Golnaka, Banjara Hills, Zehra Nagar, Borabanda, AC Guards and others areas in the city in the run up to the festival.

“Prices have increased due to the rise in transportation charges. Covid is another reason. In the last two years, due to the pandemic there were no sales and traders are trying to make up for the losses now,” said Ramchander Ji, another commission agent at Jiyaguda market. The prices have increased by around Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000.

With changing times people have started to prefer firms offering the ‘Qurbani service’ wherein one has to pay a certain amount for the animal to them. From sacrificing the animal, cleaning, piecing and packing the meat, the company takes care of all aspects except distribution. Such services have been gaining acceptance in recent years.

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Author: Howard Caldwell